Real Madrid can't afford to let Kylian Mbappe move to Saudi Arabia regardless of any future promises

Mbappe Florentino Perez

Paris Saint-Germain will take the money for Kylian Mbappe wherever it comes from. The superstar forward has been on the market for less than a week, and the suitors have started queuing up. The first to move was Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal, who offered PSG, and Mbappe, an unprecedented figure to coax the player to the Middle East.

Despite animosity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Parisians will have no qualms about accepting the bid, and who can blame them? A club, who is not a direct rival, is handing them €300 million (£259m/$333m) for a footballer. Players aren't worth that. This is a cash commitment that simply cannot be beaten.

PSG have made it clear to Mbappe that they don't care where the money comes from. They are selling to the highest bidder, and someone has already fielded an offer that simply no one else will touch.

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But it's not that simple. Mbappe, if reports are to be believed, has made it clear that he would rather sit on the bench — and wait for his contract to expire — than play for Al-Hilal. The Frenchman has coveted a Real Madrid move for years, twice rejecting the Spanish giants in favour of money. However, now the moral principles are really kicking in. Around $2.1 million (£1.6m) per day, it appears, is just far too much.

But the real losers here might just be Madrid. It had been expected that they would sign Mbappe on a free in 2024. But the departure of Karim Benzema — ironically, to the Pro League — has left them with a hole to fill, and since Mbappe made it clear that he would be on the market more immediately, it was assumed that Madrid would pay up, ideally at a discount price.

Now, though, competition has emerged. Los Blancos are being outbid, outthought, and potentially left facing a year, or longer, with a glaring hole in their side, while watching their dream target spend time elsewhere.